OSHA Completes Ergonomics Conferences

Safety professionals attended the OSHA's final Best Practices in Ergonomics Conference, which brought together employers, workers and researchers to focus on practical solutions in ergonomics programs.

More than 100 safety professionals attended the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) 10th and final Best Practices in Ergonomics Conference on Sept. 9 in Silver Spring, Md.

The conference, such as those held in the nine other OSHA regions, brought together employers, workers and researchers to focus on practical solutions in ergonomics programs.

"We decided ergonomics was too emotional, and we wanted to pull away from that and get down to what really works the solutions," said James Miller, an OSHA training instructor who helped put the program together.

The importance of winning worker participation in ergonomics programs was stressed at many of the conference's workshops. Success stories in work exposures were the focus of the morning sessions, and individual workshops covered best practices in general industry, shipbuilding and the use of tools.

Afternoon workshops were devoted to best practices in the specific elements of an ergonomics program: hazard analysis, medical management, training and how to foster companywide participation.

The goals of the conference, Miller said, were to encourage people to network, exchange information and develop standards without OSHA's involvement. He indicated that feedback from the previous nine sessions has been so positive the agency is considering another series in a different area of worker safety.

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